“Where Can a Guy Get a Gol’durn Good Hamburger in This Town?”

Food & Drink - July 15th, 2005
tokyoweekender_sushi

by Charles J. Waggon 

Just sushi, hold the story, she said.

Damn if we all don’t get homesick. I’ve called so many places “home” it seems no matter where I go I get to pining for the last place I been. A’course that goes for Japan, too. I go back to the Waggon place in Cuello Rojo gonna have me some good Texas red (that’s chili con carne, folks) and soon’s I smell it I get a powerful hankerin’ for sushi.

Now your stateside sushi darn near always got something wrong with it. The fish ain’t fresh, the rice ain’t right, or the wasabi’s in the wrong place (instead of putting a little in each piece of sushi they just put a whole mountain on the plate). Then they got this stuff ain’t sushi at all. I can’t remember all the stupid names, I just call ’em Monster Truck Rolls. Apparently your average American don’t think it’s really a meal unless it sits on the plate big as a burrito, a meatloaf or a hoagie sandwich. All filled with the kitchen sink, and splattered with four colors of mayonnaise sauce. Gets me more irritated than a dog at a flea circus.

So that’s why I just stuff my face with sushi before I hightail it from Japan. This used to be a bit of an ordeal, but a few months ago a discovered a Chow Time-certified sushi joint just opened up at Narita Airport in Terminal one. So after I check my bags, I use that time to kill to polish off a stack of sushi.

On the fifth floor of the shopping and restaurant arcade, Kaisen Misakiko is my kinda place. It’s one a them joints what send the plates whizzin’ by on a conveyor belt and when you see something looks good, you grab it. You only pay for what you want, and you can keep eating till you can’t no more.

But what earns this a Chow Time certification is that it ain’t your average conveyor belt sushi — the fish is good, and it’s generous. And damn was I surprised to find two a my favorite foods in one — okra and natto parked together. Okra ’cause I’m from Texas, and natto ’cause beans is beans.

Since there’s cheap fish and expensive fish, there are six kinds of plates with different prices, ranging from ¥116 to ¥494. Most popular stuff is either ¥197 or ¥242, so you’d be pressed to spend more than a coupl’a thousand yen a sit. Charlie Jake sez thumbs up.

WHAT TO EAT

Sushi, Seafood, cooked or raw. It’s cheap and good.

WHAT TO DRINK

Good sake, or cold heer if you have to.

WHERE TO SIT

At the counter. Where else?

HOW MUCH DID IT COST?

¥1,500 got me stuff.

WHO GOES THERE?

Travelers, mostly Japanese, and flight attendants.

WHO TO ASK FOR

Don’t matter.

Kaisen Misakiko Kaiten-sushi
Narita Airport Terminal No.l
Shopping and Restaurant area, 5F